Social Security Disability Resource Center
Overview | How to Qualify | Applications
Requirements | How long it takes | Back Pay
Mental Disability | What is a disability? | Tips
SSI Benefits | How to Win | Disability Awards
Hearings | Appeals | List of Disabling Conditions
Can you apply for disability on the basis of multiple health problems?
You may apply for Social Security disability (or SSI disability) on the basis of one health problem or many health problems. Functionality is the actual determining factor for Social Security disability and SSI disability benefits, meaning that the specific mental or physical impairment may not be as important as the limitations caused by the impairment.
In other words, how the conditions affect your ability to perform daily activities especially activities that are associated with work is more important than what your conditions are.
The definition of a disability for Social Security Disability or SSI purposes is as follows: a severe impairment, either physical or mental, that can be documented by medical evidence, or that has prevented your ability to perform work that is self supporting (SGA, or substantial gainful activity). Substantial gainful work activity is a monthly earnings amount that Social Security considers self-supporting.
As far as Social Security is concerned, a disability can be one medical condition or many medical conditions. However, disability applicants alleging disability on the basis of multiple health problems rather than a single severe physical impairment may have a harder time being approved for disability especially at their initial disability claim or reconsideration appeal.
Social Security uses a disability handbook that contains social security impairment listings for all body systems. These listings provide the criteria needed to meet the severity requirements of the Social Security disability or SSI program. If a person has a disabling condition that does meet or equal the criteria of an impairment listing, they may be approved for disability benefits. It is more difficult to be approved on the basis of multiple heath conditions or impairments that do not meet or equal the criteria of any impairment listing.
However, if you do not satisfy the requirements of a listing, you may still be approved for disability if your condition or conditions severely restrict your functional capacity. This occurs through a through a medical vocational allowance. Medical vocational allowances are based upon residual functional capacity, education, age, and the transferability of your job skills.
If your multiple health problems cause you to have a residual functional capacity that is so restricted that it prevents you from doing any of your past work or any other kind of work you may be approved for disability benefits.
In summary, you can most certainly apply for disability on the basis of multiple health problems and be approved for disability benefits. However, it is a little more difficult to receive an approval for benefits especially at the initial claim and reconsideration appeal levels.
Usually, your chances of being approved for disability improve at a disability hearing. Administrative law judges are not strictly bound by the criteria outlined in the disability handbook. They are allowed more flexibility to interpret the vocational rules and the criteria outlined in the impairment listings of the disability guidebook.
Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center
New and featured pages on SSDRC.com
Social Security Disability Requirements
Social Security Disability list of impairments
Social Security Disability Application
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Social Security Disability SSI and whether or not you can work
Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability
Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers
More Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers
Common Questions about Social Security Disability and SSI
Winning Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
The SSI Disability Benefits Program
Medical exams for disability claims
Applying for Disability in various states
Social Security Disability SSI and Doctors - Yours and Theirs
Social Security Disability and SSI Claim Reviews
Social Security Disability SSI System and Benefits for Children
Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative
What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials
Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney
Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits
FAQ on Disability Claim Representation
Disability hearings before Judges
Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers
Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits
Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability
Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children
Disability Benefits through Social Security
Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records
Filing your claim for disability benefits
Eligibility for receiving disability benefits
Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved
FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions
The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration
Resources on this site
Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions
Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI
About the Author of SSDRC, Tim Moore
For Individuals living in North Carolina
Applying for Disability in North Carolina
North Carolina Disability Lawyer
When does social security consider you eligible for disability benefits?
Who is eligible for SSI Disability?
Disability Criteria - Eligibility For Social Security and SSI Disability
Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?
Social Security Disability and SSI Mental Claims and Criteria
Can you apply for disability on the basis of multiple health problems?
What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?
Inability to Work and Eligibility for Social Security Disability and SSI Benefits
What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?
If You Are Currently Working Are You Eligible To Receive Social Security Disability Benefits?
Will Being A Veteran Affect Your Eligibility And Chances For Social Security Disability?
Are SSD and SSI disability cases decided the same way in terms of Eligibility?
Is the Medical Criteria to Get Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits hard?
Criteria for how Social Security Disability is Awarded
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
What Does Social Security Consider To Be a Disability?
Applying for disability in Illinois
Disability Lawyers in Illinois
Will I qualify for disability Benefits in Illinois?
These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.
Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria